Student Union - Shreve Neff

Photos © 2000, Shreve Neff, All Rights Reserved

Brooks Institute Of Photography
Santa Barbara, California

Majoring in advertising, Shreve is in the final year of Brooks' three-year program. She recently completed a two-month independent study program in New York.

The School
"What drew me to Brooks was their expertise in teaching and refining technique. It's not an art school by a long shot-in the first year creativity is not important to them, which was difficult for me, but I knew I had to be there because it was the only way I would learn how to put on a page everything I see in my mind."

The Future
"I assisted for a bit in New York and I hated it. I respect the fact that there's a lot one can learn from assisting, but at this point I want to learn it and do it on my own, even if that proves to be more difficult. I don't want to put myself through three years of not wanting to get up in the morning to go to work assisting and doing menial tasks for someone else. Most students are convinced that when they graduate, they have to go into assisting. I think if the passion is there, you don't have to go the same route as everyone else. With enough drive, you can make things happen for yourself."


"In general I'm influenced by people who saw the world in a unique way for their time and had the integrity and strength to put it on film, like Edward Weston, who made a shell and a pepper beautiful and noticeable, and Diane Arbus, who photographed people who are usually easily dismissed and showed them as valid, beautiful, and compelling."

With The Grain
"Most of my work is done with a Mamiya RZ, but I shot a whole series in 35mm pushing T-Max 3200 to 25,000. It started as an experiment and I loved the results."

"I want to provoke thought and introspection in people who see my images. If my avenue is an ad campaign, I want people to stop and think that this is about more than just the product. Whatever the commercial end, I want my photography to be thought-provoking, even a little unsettling."

Shreve Neff was recommended to us by Paul Meyer, a member of the faculty of Brooks Institute.

Do you know a student whose work deserves attention? If so, contact our editorial department by e-mail: or call (321) 269-3212.